Contest Winners

Winner of Your Best Flank Steak

August  4, 2011

Congratulations to sdebrango, whose Flank Steak on Texas Toast with Chimichurri won this week's contest for Your Best Flank Steakearning her big prizes from VikingOXO and Tiny Prints, and a spot in the next food52 cookbook!

sdebrango  Flank Steak on Texas Toast with Chimichurri

Q&A with sdebrango

  • Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
  • My mother has been the biggest influence and the person that shaped how I think about and work with food. I remember watching her in the kitchen. She made just about everything from scratch. She made pasta by hand, no machines and it was the best I have ever had. Because I saw my mother always cooking fresh homemade food, I like to do the same.
  • What's your least favorite food?
  • Organ meats of all kinds and overtly fishy seafood.
  • What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
  • Braised short ribs in red wine, mashed potatoes, haricots verts with shallots. It was so good!
  • Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
  • This is so embarrassing. Years ago I burned up my kitchen. Had just bought a new home, the kitchen had an electric stove (I had always used a gas stove), my in-laws were coming for dinner. I was making chicken stock, and I had to run some errands and pick up my daughter so I did a very stupid thing. I thought I could leave the stock simmering while I was out and when I got home it would be done. Well, big mistake, instead of putting it on low heat I put it on high. As I turned onto my street I saw fire trucks and as I got closer I saw it was my house. When I pulled into my driveway I saw my stock pot on my front lawn and the blackened remnants of the chicken a few feet away. My front door was broken down and my kitchen was blackened and water logged. We ate out that night.
  • What is your idea of comfort food?
  • A roasted chicken with mashed potatoes or my mother's pasta fagiole (I have tried to copy how she made it and have never been able to.).
  • Apron or no apron?
  • Depends. When I bake I wear an apron, not when I cook.
  • What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
  • I love Babette's Feast, watching her prepare that amazing meal was stunning and the change that came over the dinner guests while they were eating was so beautiful.
  • If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
  • Even though I was very young when my Grandfather died I still remember how he loved food, so I would love the chance to cook for him.
  • You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood
  • A. Alone
  • When it comes to tidying up, you usually: a. clean as you cook, b. do all the dishes once you've finished cooking, c. leave the kitchen a shambles for your spouse/roommate/kids to clean.
  • A. Clean as I cook


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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • lorigoldsby
  • mrslarkin
  • gingerroot
  • TiggyBee
  • lakelurelady
I have loved to cook for as long as I can remember, am self taught learning as I go. I come from a large Italian family and food was at the center of almost every gathering. My grandfather made his own wine and I remember the barrels of wine in the cellar of my grandfathers home, I watched my mother and aunts making homemade pasta and remember how wonderful it was to sit down to a truly amazing dinner. Cooking for me is a way to express myself its my creative outlet. I enjoy making all types of food but especially enjoy baking, I live in Brooklyn, NY, and I share my home with my two dogs Izzy and Nando. I like to collect cookbooks and scour magazines and newspapers for recipes. I hope one day to organize them.


lorigoldsby August 4, 2011
Congrats! A great recipe (one of many from you!). I'm a big fan of yours.
mrslarkin August 4, 2011
So nice getting to know you better, sdebrango! I've got a flank steak in the freezer just waiting to be turned into this super dish.
gingerroot August 4, 2011
Congratulations again, sdebrango! I loved reading a little more about you, and agree that it is so nice to put a face to such a supportive and creative member of this community. Cheers!
TiggyBee August 4, 2011
How fun to read about you!! Great recipe that my family loved, congratulations again!!
lakelurelady August 4, 2011
Again, congratulations sdebrango. I'm assuming you now have a gas stove. The fact that you persevered with your cooking after that disaster speaks volumes about your dedication to all things food.
nogaga August 4, 2011
creamtea August 4, 2011
Congratulations again sdebrango. Best kitchen disaster story ever! I sure hope subsequent winners don't try to top it! Nice to get to know you.
EmilyC August 4, 2011
Congrats again, sdebrango! So lovely to learn more about you!
Sadassa_Ulna August 4, 2011
Congratulations sdebrango! Its wonderful to read about you!
BlueKaleRoad August 4, 2011
Lovely to learn more about you. Wow, what a kitchen disaster! Thank you for sharing such wonderful recipes with us. And I am with you on Babette's's my very favorite.
lastnightsdinner August 4, 2011
Congratulations! What a mouthwatering dish, and I love your Q&A :)
Midge August 4, 2011
Congrats sdebrango! I'm hoping to make your wonderful sandwich this weekend. And yes, your disaster story takes the cake!
nannydeb August 4, 2011
It's nice to know more about you! I think your kitchen fire tops all of the other kitchen disasters...Congrats again!
drbabs August 4, 2011
Dear sdebrango, congratulations on your wonderful win. You are so generous with your supportive comments to everyone in this community. It's a thrill to actually see your face and get to know you a little better. I think your kitchen disaster wins! (And you got a new kitchen! Even better!) Congratulations again.
Panfusine August 4, 2011
Totally second drbabs comment, You've had the most spectacular kitchen disaster hands down... The next winner has a double tough task upping your winning recipe & the disaster!!
drbabs August 4, 2011
Or cunning! "I hated the kitchen and told him I wanted to renovate he said later I could use it like that for the time being. " Nice!
fiveandspice August 4, 2011
Congrats again. And, WOW, that's one awe-inspiring kitchen disaster!
aargersi August 4, 2011
Hurrah! Congratulations again - so glad to see you here! Um - best kitchen disaster story to date ... we can laugh now, right???
Panfusine August 4, 2011
Congratulations! sdebrango... Its lovely to see you in the winners circle.. Well deserved!
boulangere August 4, 2011
How wonderful to finally put a beautiful face to that beautiful voice! You SO deserve a spot in the next book.
hardlikearmour August 4, 2011
Congrats on your win! I'm with you on the fishy fish. Your kitchen disaster pretty much takes the cake.
inpatskitchen August 4, 2011
So nice to get to know you better...and thanks for your wonderful contributions to Food52!